Labour Code 2020: Should WhatsApp be used to issue salary slips?

Amidst the ongoing privacy debate around social media, especially WhatsApp, it is uncertain whether the Government will adhere to its proposal to use social media for salary-related communication

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In the draft proposal for the new labour codes, which is up on the public domain for feedback, it is proposed that all salary payments will be done through the electronic mode, and intimation of the transfer of amount will be sent via a short message (SMS) or an e-mail or WhatsApp to the respective employees/workers. However, with the ongoing debate on social-media privacy, this mode of communication may need more thought.

While the Labour Ministry seems to be rather keen to make good use of social media, especially WhatsApp, for salary communication as part of the new labour codes, it may not really be a good idea considering the innumerable cases of cyber fraud that have emerged of late. Also, experts feel that the employer-employee confidentiality may be at risk of being breached.

By sending salary statements/slips via social media, such as WhatsApp — which is largely used for informal chats — the employees’ financial privacy will be compromised. This will naturally violate the confidentiality agreement between the employers and employees, which is an integral part of the conditions of service. Also, there may be adverse consequences, not just in the financial sense, but in terms of personal and professional issues.

With talk of WhatsApp information being shared with Facebook, who is to say that all salary-related information will not end up on social-media platforms?

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